Concert Review: Ball Brothers
On Sunday (August 10), I took the chance to see the Ball Brothers at Calvary Baptist Church in Ashland, Ohio. It was an annual event; though not all-day, it was otherwise my first time to be at an old-fashioned all-day-sing and dinner-on-the-ground.
The Ball Brothers are actual brothers; Andrew Ball sings tenor, Daniel Ball sings lead, Stephen Ball sings baritone, and Josh Ball, though not a bass in voice quality, sings what I call “choir bass” (think Bill Gaither, Claude Hopper). Their blend and harmonies are very tight, tight enough to make their sound unique among male quartets. In professional Southern Gospel circles, most family groups where all the members are related have at least one female vocalist; though Southern Gospel fans have become accustomed to tight family blends in mixed trios or quartets, this group is unique among male quartets.
They sang a mixture of new (orchestrated), acapella, and classic piano-and-bass-guitar convention songs. They did not have live accompaniment; however, they did have a sound man, Josh Gibson, Daniel Ball’s brother-in-law.
- My Lord and I
- He’s a Personal Savior
- I’m Already Living Forever
- There is a Mountain – A highlight of the set, even though it was a little odd to hear five voices. In the studio version (found on Vocalized) the group had a guest bass vocal from Daren Rust; that part was played.
- Walkin’ in Jerusalem
During intermission, a church quartet and mixed trio each sang several songs. The church quartet, led by the pastor singing lead, sang “Damascus Road,” “I Rest My Case at the Cross,” “Glory Road,” and “Even Thomas Couldn’t Doubt It.” The mixed trio sang “I’m Happy With You, Lord,” “God is a Good God,” and “In My Robe of White.” The last song, “In My Robe of White,” was written by Genice Spencer Ingold, who was a member of the trio.
- I Wonder
- Somebody Loves Me
- Blessing Burden Bearing God
- A Comfort to Know – This featured Josh Ball on a solo.
- Promises One By One – This acapella song was fully acapella, with no drum track.
- Mercy Said No – This featured Andrew. I originally heard the song as recorded by Greg Long on CCM radio; I consider the Ball Brothers’ rendition to be superior. The song has finally found the genre for which it was written (perhaps unbeknownst to the author).
I had the time to talk with members of the group for a little while about some of their upcoming plans. Be watching for big things from the group.